US Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to propose boosting spending for the military in a budget bill expected to be unveiled Wednesday, including plans to add a new aircraft carrier and expand its missile defense.
A senior administration official told Reuters the proposed defense budget would include a boost in the number of F-35s, and additional funding for the Navy’s Aegis missile defense system.
The Pentagon, which is under fire for spending billions on a bloated warship that is still in service, is also looking at a boost for the Air Force’s F-22 stealth fighter.
The defense budget also would add $5 billion to the military’s fleet of nuclear submarines, as well as $6 billion to shore up the Air National Guard and other regional security forces, the official said.
The budget plan is expected in a classified form and will be presented to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee by the Pentagon on Wednesday afternoon, the source said.
The official declined to comment on the specifics of the budget.
Mattis, a former Marine Corps general and one of the Trump administration’s top military officials, has been working to build momentum for the $54 billion defense spending bill since his confirmation in January.
The Trump administration has proposed to spend $1 trillion on the military and its allies during a three-month period starting on March 1.
That spending plan calls for expanding the US’ military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and expanding its role in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
The Pentagon has estimated that it would spend $2.4 trillion during the three-year war.
The Pentagon has been under intense criticism from lawmakers who want to increase funding for military forces and other spending, particularly to fight the spread of Ebola.
The Senate Armed Services subcommittee on defense is set to consider the defense spending proposal on Wednesday, with several Democrats and some Republicans voicing opposition to the proposal.
But many Republicans have indicated they will support the plan if the Pentagon is able to provide sufficient assurances about the funding.